Georgian PM’s special representative for relations with Russia, Zurab Abashidze, has left for Prague for a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Grigory Karasin, scheduled for September 19.
It will be the fourth such meeting between the two diplomats in frames of a format launched in December to address issues related mainly with trade, economy, humanitarian and cultural aspects of bilateral relations.
Before his departure, Abashidze noted that like ahead of his recent meeting with Karasin in early June, now too the talks are preceded by “tensions” on the administrative boundary line of breakaway South Ossetia related to installation of fences by the Russian troops. He said it’s hard to believe that it’s a coincidence.
“It is very regrettable that tensions have been preceding our recent meetings. Situation there [across the administrative boundary lines] is always complicated, but more tensions clearly emerge ahead of our meetings. It is very hard to believe that it is not done deliberately,” Abashidze said.
NATO Secretary General’s special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai has expressed concern about resumption of installing fences across the South Ossetian administrative boundary line.
He posted on his Facebook page on September 18: “Concerned about reports that Russian forces in Georgia have resumed installing fences at the administrative boundary line with South Ossetia. Again, this violates the agreement and makes political progress more difficult. As EUMM says, all parties should show restraint.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry said on September 16 about the upcoming meeting between Abashidze and Karasin, that an informal dialogue will be continued on the issues in which progress is possible in the condition of absence of diplomatic ties between the two countries, involving cooperation in trade, transport, culture and healthcare areas.